Wednesday, 30 November 2011 00:23
Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto has won her first tournament as a professional, beating a strong field at a mini-tour event in Florida.
A former amateur standout, the 19-year-old posted a two-shot victory Wednesday at the Suncoast Ladies Series' season finale in Daytona Beach. She earned $2,500 (U.S.).
Lee-Bentham had a three-day total of 12-under-par 204 on the Champions course at LPGA International Golf Club.
Among the trio of runners-up Wednesday was Birdie Kim, the 2005 U.S. Women's Open champion. Rising star Jessica Korda of the United States shared 13th spot.
Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C. finished tied for 41st.
The Canadian's victory bodes well for her chances at the final stage of the LPGA Tour's qualifying tournament, or Q-school, next week.
Not only does she head to Q-school with momentum, but the Champions course is one of the two layouts used at the Q-school final.
Lee-Bentham will be among the 142 competitors trying to win her LPGA Tour card for 2012.
Other Canadians in the LPGA Q-School field include:
Izzy Beisiegel of St. Hilaire, Que., Angela Buzminski, Oshawa, Ont., Montreal's Lisa Meldrum, Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont., Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., Adrienne White of Red Deer, Alta., Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C., Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., Edmonton's Susan Nam and Hamilton's Ashley Sholer.
They face 90 holes on the Champions and Legends Courses. The number of available cards is still to be determined, according to the LPGA.
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